Session 7: The way forward: What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?

Geography (Ages 11-14)
Session 7: The way forward: What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?
  • Different Backgrounds, Common Ground
  • The way forward: “What should we consider when making decisions when there are conflicting interests?”
Key Messages
  • Whenever any organisation has to make a decision, there will be some who agree and others who disagree. The ability to listen to others in an attempt to understand someone else’s perspective, compromise and patience are all key to resolving conflict.
  • Having explored the example of the mining conflict in Odisha, learning is now applied to issues of interest which are local, eg London based (, and connections are made between this and personal, local, national and global matters.
  • Students will consider why there are different views about a local issue
  • Students will creatively apply their prior learning to their chosen issue
  • Students will relate the content of the module to the aims of the Miriam’s Vision resource
  • Students will evaluate real issues, considering actions that are likely to be effective
  • Students will extrapolate from Miriam’s story to a local situation in the UK.
Links to National Curriculum

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.



  • Ask students to brainstorm the "physical" and "human" similarities and differences between Odisha and their own area.  You could scribe this in a table on the board.
  • Now ask students to select a local issue where there are conflicting interests or potential conflicting interests (e.g. use of community spaces, access to land)

Activity 1

  • Share MV Geography resource 7.1 Link to Miriam's Story
  • Elicit local issues considered by the group.  Vote on one to focus on.
  • In mixed ability groups, students explore, research and debate in the roles of different interested parties in their chosen local issue, demonstrating their understanding of the potential impacts (physical and human) of decisions made, and possible conflict resolution methods that could be employed.
  • Students can use these points, reproduced in MV Geography Resource 7.2 Structure your debate to help structure a debate:
    • Research carefully to find appropriate information
    • Organize points by order of importance
    • Consider all sides, but make your own position clear by backing it up with convincing facts
    • Tell about the causes and consequences 
    • Use statistics for supporting your facts
    • Use clear language 
    • Use visuals (photos, graphs, diagrams) to help the audience understand your position


  • Reflect on the key message of Miriam’s Vision resource: Miriam’s Vision: A Response to the 2005 London Bombings is the Hyman family’s way of trying to help YOU to create a safer, more inclusive society in response to what happened to Miriam.
  • Reiterate that the aims of this module are to help us to understand that there are conflicts between groups in any society.  In order to reach the best compromise for all interested parties, patient negotiation is usually necessary. 
  • Students can share personal experiences or knowledge of issues that have split groups (which could include families) or communities.  How were the issues tackled?  Were they resolved?  Could they have been better resolved?  How?  This provides opportunities for students to relate the contents of this module to themselves and their own lives.  Sharing in (non-friendship) pairs can sometimes have surprisingly rewarding personal outcomes, and as a whole class students may inspire each other.
  • Refer to the subtitle of the module, Different Backgrounds, Common Ground, as a fitting close, and end with the following questions:
  • How can the Miriam’s Vision resources help? (By learning what happened on 7/7 and understanding its far-reaching consequences; by understanding that people have the choice to influence events in their personal, local, national and global communities constructively and non-violently; by applying lessons learned to future personal and wider situations.)
  • Has anything in this module inspired you? If so, what? How?